Secondary News and Updates (08/26/22)

Secondary-School News

Upcoming Events

STEM All-Events Calendar

Please take a moment to check the STEM All-Events Calendar on our website.

There are lots of events already scheduled so please take a moment to take a look at the calendar to familiarize yourself with some of the events at the start of school. This calendar will continue to be updated throughout the summer as we get closer to the start of school.

Senior College Night

Tuesday, Aug. 30, from 5:30-7:30 p.m – HS Commons

Join us on Tuesday, Aug. 30, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the High School Commons for a Senior meeting to go over graduation requirements again. Please park in the Secondary Parking Lot and enter through the Secondary Lobby. Email Kelli Myrick (kelli.myrick@ with any questions.

Student Forum/Information Session

Tuesday, Sept. 6, from 3:15-4 p.m – HS Commons

Calling all students in grades 6-12! Join us for the first Student Forum/Information Session on Tuesday, Sept. 6, from 3:15-4 p.m. in the High School Commons. This is your opportunity to learn more about what’s happening at STEM and get to know our STEM Administration Team. This event is organized by our Student Advisory Council.

STEM Board of Director's Meeting

Tuesday, Sept. 6, from 5:30-7 p.m – Mechatronics Lab (P-TECH/KOSON Building

The monthly STEM Board of Director’s Meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 6 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Mechatronics Lab of the P-TECH/KOSON Building. The STEM BOD is comprised of parents and community members who volunteer their time. The Board’s role and purpose is to provide oversight of the Executive Director, who implements the policies set forth by the Board. The Board also provides support and direction of STEM’s long-term vision and mission. Additionally, the Board is active in making sure that STEM remains in compliance with all DCSD, state and federal compliance requirements, as well as STEM’s Charter Contract.

Meetings are open to anyone to attend. Anyone who would like to address the Board Members must sign-up in advance by completing the Public Comment Form no later than 12 p.m. the day of each Board meeting. If written testimony or a handout is submitted, presenters are asked to supply one (1) copy via email to

News and Updates

Update from DCSD on Mill Levy/Bond

Happy Friday DCSD Families and Staff! This past Tuesday our Board of Education voted unanimously to place a $60M Mill Levy Override and $450M Bond on the November 2022 ballot. All seven board members expressed their strong support and personal dedication to our students and our staff. There was also a lot of support and unity among community members that provided public comment – even community members that typically have opposing viewpoints came together in support of additional funding for our school district.

If passed by voters, an MLO would enable DCSD to provide pay that is more competitive with other school districts to retain teachers and staff. Should an MLO pass, DCSD teachers, on average, would receive a 9% pay increase, as reflected in these salary schedules. Classified staff members, such as bus drivers, educational assistants, custodians, etc., would receive a 9% increase. Other staff, including school principals and administrators, would receive a 6% pay increase. See page two of this document to review exact ballot language for the MLO.

A $450 million Bond would help DCSD construct three new neighborhood elementary schools and create additions to two existing middle schools to reduce crowding and plan for growth. The Bond would also assist DCSD in implementing safety and security upgrades, and updating and repairing its existing school buildings, to provide safe, efficient, quality learning environments for students and staff. Click here for details on what each of DCSD’s existing schools would receive should the Bond be approved by voters. See pages two and three of this document to review exact ballot language for the Bond.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Erin Kane
Douglas County School District

Connect with other Parents

In case you didn’t know, families have specific Class Pages on Facebook where they can connect with other families from their student’s grade. You can find all of the different class pages on our Get Connected page of the Parent section of our website. Click the button below to see them.

Please note that these pages are administered by other parents and not by STEM.

High School Student Government Applications

HS Student Government is now taking applications for the 2022-23 school year. High School students, please fill out the application, read the student government handbook and sign the code of the student government handbook and sign the code of conduct. Applications are due Friday, Sept. 2. No late applications will be considered. If you have any questions, please contact Tjaden Litwiler (tjaden.litwiler@ or Brinda Malik (brinda.malik@

Middle School Back to School Night Recap

Thank you all so much for coming to our Middle School Back to School Night event on Tuesday. It was so great to meet all of you and have you in our building, walking the halls like your student does every day.

Our teachers were so excited to have you in their classrooms to begin building those all-important parent-teacher relationships. I do want to recognize and apologize to those families who might not have had a chance to meet all of their student’s teachers. We did have some teachers who were unable to make it at the last minute due to personal reason. If you missed seeing your student’s teacher, please reach out to the teacher directly to learn more about the course and your student’s experience.

Click the button below to view the Slide presentation that I presented.

Thank you again!

Maura Ridder, Middle School Director

Join the DCSD Equity Advisory Council

Dear DCSD Families and Students,

The Equity Advisory Council serves to support and advise the Superintendent (or Superintendent’s designee), and the School Board on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Equity Advisory Council meets once per month during the school year. If you are interested in serving on this council, please complete the Equity Advisory Council Membership Application. For membership and other details, see the Equity Advisory Council Bylaws and Addendum 1: Inaugural Year Processes and Procedures. Applications are due by the close of business on August 23, 2022. Members will be selected and notified no later than September 2, 2022. Meetings occur once per month, and the next meeting is scheduled for September 7, 2022, from 4:30-6 p.m. Additional information is available on the DCSD website’s Educational Equity page.

Thank you,

Douglas County School District

Calling all Industry Experts, Parents and Community Members!

Career Discovery Information (Facebook Post)

Secondary Tardy Policy Update/Reminder

Thank you for your patience and positivity during our first two weeks of school. Our students are genuinely excited to come to school, and it is absolutely wonderful to see their smiling faces each day.

This year, I am proud to report that most of our students are arriving at school and to their classes in a timely manner. Starting Monday (baring any impacts from weather), our new breezeway will connect the two buildings, resulting in shorter paths between classes. Now that students have a feel for the distance between their classes, our staff has been instructed to implement STEM’s Tardy Policy.

NMSQT, SAT and PSAT 8/9 Coming Up on October 12

Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 7:50 a.m. to 12 p.m.

On October 12, 2022, STEM juniors will take the PSAT/NMSQT and STEM seniors that signed up will take the SAT. These assessments are not part of state-mandated accountability testing, but an opportunity for students to improve SAT scores or practice for the SAT. The NMSQT is used as a qualifier for the National Merit Scholarship Program. For more information about these assessments please visit

Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 7:40-11 a.m. 

On Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022 STEM 7th and 8th grade students that did not opt-out, will take the PSAT 8/9. This assessment is not part of state-mandated accountability testing, but an opportunity for parents, students, and teachers to see what skills students need in order to prepare for High School and college. More information about the PSAT 8/9 can be found here. Following testing, students will resume their daily schedule. Students in grades K-5 will follow their normal schedule.  Students in 6th, 9th, 10th and those 12th graders not testing  will follow their typical schedules virtually.

Secondary Yearbook Information

This school year will live forever in your yearbook. Buy a yearbook. It’s easy.

Yearbooks may be purchased at

Enter STEM School Highlands Ranch and click on Buy a
Yearbook. Follow the directions online. Enter your name and credit card, debit card or PayPal information, and click

Cost: $45 until October 31, 2022, $55 thereafter

If you want to personalize the book, namestamping starts at $6 extra and must be purchased before January 29, 2022.


Contact Michelle Vitale the STEM Secondary Yearbook Advisor at michelle.vitale@

After purchase, you will be emailed a confirmation receipt. You may also verify your order at by entering your email in the “Find an Order” field.

Powderpuff and Powderpuff Cheer info!

Info below about Powderpuff and Powderpuff cheer! If you have any questions about Powderpuff or Powderpuff cheer feel free to contact Alex Rogers at

Calling all High School girls!

Do you want to participate in the most exciting battle of the classes in school? Join STEM’s powderpuff team where the freshmen and juniors will take on the sophomores and seniors in a game of flag football! Show your school spirit by playing in this thrilling game during the week of Homecoming, Wednesday, Sept. 21!

If you are interested in participating, fill out this survey which will be open until Wednesday, Aug. 31. After you have signed up, a follow-up email will include the amount in cash you must bring to Mrs. Myrick (Room 124) no later than the September 5. This will cover a personalized powderpuff shirt with your name and number on the back.

We will have a team meeting on September 2 after school, so please attend. Details will be sent out in a future email to those who have signed up.

Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you there!

Spartan Boys,

The time for honor has come again. Powderpuff is coming on September 21, and you know what that means: cheer time!

Join the magnificent Powderpuff cheer crew today to cheer on our wonderful teams!

If you are interested, click here to fill out a form to sign up. Registration will be open until Wednesday, August 31st! Emails on an informational meeting will be sent out after sign-up closes.

Let’s go, cheerleaders!

Mrs. Myrick

Free Chromebooks for Free-Reduced Lunch Students

We are happy to share that we will be offering students who are part of the Free and Reduced Lunch program the opportunity to get a Free Chromebook if the following parameters are met:

  • Chromebook is signed out by a parent
  • The student must remain enrolled at STEM for three years. (if the student leaves STEM during those three years, they will need to return the laptop)

Laptops can be kept over the summer. For more information, please email ashley.westfall@ to confirm your Free and Reduced Lunch Program status.

Setting Up your Parent Canvas Account

All parents should set up their Parent Canvas account in order to see their student’s coursework, grades and more. Watch the video below that shows you how to link your account with your student’s account, in particular how to access the Paring Code that is needed.

School Lunches will NOT be Free This Year

Over the last two years, the USDA has provided school waivers that provide meals at no cost to the students. Those waivers expired after the 2021-22 School year ends. This means that a return to paid meals will begin August 8, 2022 for students that do not qualify for Free or Reduces Meal Benefits. DCSD is asking that ALL families please complete the Free or Reduced Lunch Application. While you’re completing the application, please make sure to check the box that allows for the information to be shared with your student’s school. Sharing this information with STEM allows for your student to be eligible for more benefits throughout the school year.

If a family does not qualify for FRL, the meals will cost the following:

$3.75 – Elementary

$4 – Middle School

All meal prices include an entree, fruit, veggies and milk. Ala carte options are available at all schools and prices vary by option. Students pay for school lunches through their MySchoolBucks account.

STEM B.A.S.E. is Hiring

STEM BASE is URGENTLY hiring! We are looking for 1 Program Assitant Manager, and 2 Senior Program Leaders to work in a busy and fun program. If you or someone you know is looking to develop management skills and gain experience in a growing program with a fun, experienced, and dedicated staff, this is the right move for you. The Assistant Manager position is a “Select Charter Postion” with offers an additional 10% monthly pay stipend, 30 hours per week and full time hours on school breaks. Sr Program Leader hours are M-F 1:30-5:30/6. Part-time and full-time hours are available during school breaks. Happy to coordinate BASE managers who have staff looking for more hours. Feel free to call or email me for more details or questions. /(720) 688-2928.

DCSD News and Resources

Mental Health Resource of the Week

Showing Teens Healthy Ways to Cope

Megan Miccio, a school health professional at Denver’s Thomas Jefferson High School, says adults can help the teens in their lives deal with stress — and avoid using harmful substances to cope — by doing two important things: 1) talking about substance use and 2) modeling healthy coping skills.

Literary Resource of the Week

The Challenge of Learning to Read

No other skill taught in school and learned by school children is more important than reading. It is the gateway to all other knowledge. If children do not learn to read efficiently, the path is blocked to every subject they encounter in their school years.

Total Wellness Resource of the Week

Internet Safety – Parent’s Guide to Discord

If you’ve got a teen in your house, there’s a good chance you have Discord. We don’t mean bickering—we’re talking Discord with a capital D, the chat app that’s especially popular with teens.

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